When it comes to talking about taxing the extremely wealthy, I have chosen not to listen to those who don’t know what they’re talking about, which quite frankly translates into not listening to myself. Although I have read quite a bit about the current tax system, the breakdown of the 1 percent, Romney’s 47 percent–I still remain as unsure as ever about this topic.
But when Warren Buffett speaks, I listen. Why? Well, the truth is he’s an Omaha man like my dad, so I grew up hearing his name and about his empire and relatively frugal ways. I never met him, but my cousin did find herself driving behind him in his 2006 Cadillac on her way to work one day, which I read he purchased to support GM. He appeared on MSNBC the other day to discuss the fiscal cliff and how not to fall of it.
Politics aside, since the man’s a billionaire, I think he knows from whence he speaks. And he believes that the wealthy, such as himself, should be more heavily taxed and it will not affect investments. Buffett’s plan is to impose a minimum tax on incomes above $1 million, but even he admits that the biggest “moochers” are the uber-wealthy. Among the 400 with the highest incomes in the U.S. in 2009, the average income was about $200 million, and that six people in that group paid “nothing at all.”
According to a New York Times editorial published last year, Buffett’s tax bill for 2010 was about $6.9 million, or 17 percent of taxable income. He said that’s a lower rate than the other 20 employees in his office of Berkshire Hathaway, and that the wealthy benefit from favorable treatment of capital gains and dividends, compared with wages.